Agrodan Social: on Children’s Day in Brazil, discover the project that impacts the lives of more than 300 children
Agrodan, the largest mango exporter in Brazil, has eight farms and 1,300 hectares of land, producing more than 30 million kilos of the fruit per year. But behind all this work with exports, few know about the impact generated by the company’s project, Agrodan Social, which changes the lives of 300 children every day.
The project was designed by one of the company’s partners, Paulo Dantas, in 2014, when he noticed that there were illiterate employees at Agrodan. But until 2018, the year in which the initiative began its operation, Paulo almost saw his idea not getting off the ground.
“Our idea was a school for 200 students from rural areas, from kindergarten to fifth grade. I wanted to give these children the opportunity to choose their profession. However, we had some failures in partnerships that we tried and, therefore, I decided to invest money from my own pocket”, says Paulo Dantas.
After all, the school was founded with 224 full-time students, from kindergarten to fifth grade. But it wasn’t just education that was free for children at Teacher Olindina Roriz Dantas School, in the rural area of Belém do São Francisco – PE. In addition to classes, Agrodan also provides material, food and logistics. The school currently works up to the first year of high school.
Norma Meire Lopes, mother of Thallyta Vitória, a student at Teacher Olindina Roriz Dantas School, highlighted the key role of Agrodan Social concerning the region.
“School is very important, before our children only had two days of school. The teachers came from far away, there was no transport. Many times they even got to the next grade, but without learning what they were supposed to”, she explained.
With the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, the work was still not over, but the school had to adapt to the new reality imposed by the disease.
“During the pandemic, the school tried to provide everything they could to students. My daughter received a notebook to keep up to date with her classes and free internet access. Furthermore, the school was concerned with providing basic food kits for everyone. So, the concern goes way beyond learning, they care about the kid’s well-being”, Norma quoted.
In 2021, still during the pandemic, in addition to free internet, the project began teaching adult families of students to read and write, and many of the children also became teachers.
The project is also very important for employees. The teacher Beatriz comments on the role of Agrodan Social in her life. She explains that her story with Agrodan began in the countryside, as a rural worker.
“I learned to perform many activities that I am very proud of and that is how I was able to maintain my studies. At first, it didn’t cross my mind that I could work as a teacher, after years of working in the field. Paulo noticed me and was surprised that I had higher education and was in the countryside. After a few days, he surprised me with an offer to be an assistant professor at the project”, she explained.
You can also make a donation to Agrodan Social and support this initiative by accessing: https://www.agrodansocial.com.br/contato/
Despite all the benefits that Agrodan Social offers to the region, the project wants to increase its impact even further. Paulo Dantas highlights that one of his goals is to have a professional course in the IT area by 2026.
“Our goal is higher education in IT, and we’re looking for partners to do this. Furthermore, we’re investing in sports, building an athletics track. Our goal is to increasingly unify sport and education”, says Paulo Dantas.
For Abrafrutas, it is an honor to be able to proudly share Agrodan’s story. The company is one of the program’s associates and has been developing this important and truly inspiring social project in the rural area of Belém do São Francisco, in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.
By creating local jobs, investing in infrastructure and social initiatives, the company is promoting a virtuous growth cycle that benefits everyone, from local farmers to community members. The initiative is a living testimony to the Brazilian fruit industry’s commitment to social responsibility and the sustainable development of underprivileged communities.
“The school has become a beacon of hope for the local community. Through the project, the company shows it is not just about producing high-quality fruits, but also about investing in the well-being of the community where it operates”, says the president of Abrafrutas, Guilherme Coelho.
Guilherme also states that Abrafrutas is proud to have them as an associate. This initiative exemplifies the true meaning of corporate social responsibility and shows how Brazil’s fruit industry is committed to the triple bottom line.
“We congratulate Agrodan and all the producers who are also transforming lives and making a difference in Brazil. Mr. Paulo Dantas is an inspiration for all of us and for everyone in agribusiness”, quotes Guilherme Coelho.
The Brazilian Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruit and Derivatives (Abrafrutas) is a non-profit association whose purpose is to represent and promote Brazilian fruit growing in the international market. Created in 2014, Abrafrutas has approximately 70 associated fruit exporters and holds approximately 85% of the total volume of fresh fruit exported by Brazil.